All Sauced Up

Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving is the best Martin Millar book since Good Fairies of New York. It is uncouth, dirty, and a lot of fun. Millar taps into confused youths brave denial of any proper society, by pushing sexual boundaries and creating a punk-rock playground. The writing is graphic and gratuitous, with an insane plot that actually works.

Elfish is twenty-four, plays the guitar very well, drinks much too much and is of a generally melancholic disposition. Rarely known to smile, she is frequently unpleasant and is occasionally totally hostile. As a friend of the human race, Elfish is a failure. As a stage diver she is a complete success.”
pg 12

Shakespeare fans will love Elfish's quest to learn the Queen Mab speech in order to retain it as her band's name. It doesn't matter that she doesn't have a band or panics when it comes to reciting anything: she just wants to win. One simple act like this sets the ball rolling and soon everyone around Elfish seems to be doing better.

Her flatmates get inspired to continue with their feminist magazine, because Elfish claims to have connections. Her friend Shonen, who's recruited to help Elfish learn the speech, regains enthusiasm in her theatre group, because Elfish promises to find funding. An owner of a secondhand music shop gains a zest for life, and helps out with the new band because Elfish reminds him of his lost sister. Even Elfish's brother Aran, who becomes her right-hand man, stops moping about lost love and gets on designing his video game, which is best described as Oregon Trail with historic characters.

The only downfall with Elfish's plan is that she lied to everyone about everything, which she doesn't bother to think about as she takes the stage to recite the speech. Her ex-boyfriend and competitor does though?

Mo was planning a more comprehensive doom for Elfish than Aran could possibly imagine. Through his many friends in Brixton he was aware of all the varied promises that Elfish had made to people and he knew them all to be untrue. He intended to use this knowledge to crush Elfish.”
pg 181

Millar channels Queen Mab in putting dreams to the test and comes out on top. Dreams of Sex and Stage Diving is an inspiring and vice-filled read. Punk-rock aficionados will find a comfort zone in all the stage-diving drama, and if readers can put aside weak stomachs and righteous morals about sexual discrepancies, there will be applause all around for Millar's newest frolic into the world of damaged youth.

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